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replacing steering head bearings

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by MrWasabi, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. I just picked up my steering bearings from the shop, and will probably replace them on my ZZR over the weekend. Question however...

    My whacky friends suggested we put them in the freezer so they are a lot easier to slot in. This will mean that there is no need for the bearing knocking in tool etc... i dont know about putting the bearings in the freezer.... what do you guys think? will this help me slot them in easier or just a wife's tale?

  2. makes sense. Metal contracts when its cold and expands when its hot (you can see this in powerlines really easily).

    Not sure if it would make that much of a difference? Cant hurt though. Bearing are metal, metal and a bit more metal with some grease.
  3. I've tried that, it doesn't make a huge difference.

    Luckily, you have a ready-made pair of bearing knocking-in tools as soon as you pull the old bearings out.

    Use the old bearing races sat upside down on the new ones, and hammer down on them. Works a treat.
  4. Freezer is OK, and every little bit helps. Heating the steering head in frame helps too.

    DO NOT hammer the new bearings on. DO NOT just tighten the lot up and hope it will work. Tapered roller bearings damage very quickly if you apply careless loading off axis with the roller cages in. Use the OLD bearing shells as an insertion sleeve. I have used a big adjustable clamp to squeeze the outer races into the frame. This was made even easier because i had to weld some scrap steel into the old races to remove them - BMW Airhead steering bearings are a DOG to remove.
  5. The critical part is to make sure that you only apply force to the outer bearing shell, not to the inner race. It can be quite tricky to do.


    Trevor G
  6. That's what I meant, but you are more articulater what I am. :p
  7. Gosh! :) What a compliment

    Thanks ;-)

    Trevor G

    PS Mind you, you did quite well getting the message across too...